It Takes Discipline

self-care
Here’s the thing I want to say about self-care, which perhaps you’ve figured out by now is my hot topic of the month: It’s simple.
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We make self-care into this big monster feat to tackle. In order for it to count as self-care, it’s gotta be big, expensive, fancy, life-altering, game-changing. Patently False. This kind of thinking is exactly what leads us to burn out by putting us on the “Once I   X  , then I will   Y   ” train. This is a sprint to an ever-moving goal-post:
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……….“I will sleep once I am on vacation.”
……….“I will reset my body with a 30-day cleanse.”
……….“A day at the spa will cure all that ails me.”
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This only leaves us feeling further defeated when all that ails us is not in fact “cured” in one shot.
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Self-care is not a one-and-done kind of thing. So it’s no wonder that we’re left disappointed when an afternoon at the spa feels nice but doesn’t magically lift the waves of exhaustion or ever-present irritability we’re feeling. This is more of an amateur’s approach — a dabbling, an outsourcing — to self-care.
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Here’s the deal: True self-care is an advanced skill. It’s not about being able to afford expensive indulgences. It’s not about doing it here and there, or giving up the responsibility of taking care of yourself and hoping for the best.
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Advanced self-care is about truly loving yourself. It’s about giving yourself what YOU need to show up fully as a human in all parts of your life. This can look like doing a myriad of things daily, like:
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      – Two minutes of breathing
      – Getting down on the floor and playing with your child without your phone in hand
      – Cooking nutritious food
      – Lying on the carpet and staring at the ceiling (my personal fave)
      – Staring out the window
      – Taking a ten-minute total and complete technology break
      – Etc
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Like I said above, it’s simple. But it’s not easy.
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Because here’s the tricky part: Taking care of yourself is a discipline, a practice — one that takes commitment. Showing up for yourself seems like it ought to be a no-brainer, but it actually takes attention, and must be planned for, and built into your schedule, or it typically doesn’t happen. Like everything, start small! Come up with your own act of daily self-care, or steal one of mine above, and make a daily date with yourself. Try it for two weeks, and if it doesn’t feel right, pick something else and try again. Experiment with what works. I’m often amazed at how the tiniest tweak on this front can have a massive grounding and nurturing impact.
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Let me know how this goes for you! If it’s easy and works for you, let me know. If you need help getting started, let me know that too :).
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Note for local NYC readers: Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several women on layering lasting and meaningful self-care into their busy busy busy lives, and it’s been so illuminating and joyful. Implementing a personal daily self-care practice is exactly what Chrissy Carter and I will be doing at the live workshop on February 29th. If you’re in NYC, I hope you will join me! There are just a few tickets left, click here to sign up.
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